HILO, Hawaii – The number of participants in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case swelled to 24 parties, with the approval of hearing officer Judge Riki May Amano at a conference held in Hilo on Friday.
Over a hundred people – both supporters and opponents of the proposed $1.4 billion observatory planned for Mauna Kea – crammed into an inadequately-sized conference room at the old state courthouse building.
During the hearing, Amano approved requests by the Thirty Meter Telescope and the supporting group PUEO, Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities, to participate. Amano also approved the participation of 14 other groups and individuals, according to Hawaii News Now, which served as the pool camera for the conference. Five applicants who applied to intervene opted out to serve as witnesses in the hearing instead. Some applicants did not show up for the conference.
Once it gets underway, the hearing could take three or four weeks to complete. Over 100 witnesses may get called to testify before all is said and done.
Big Island Video News will have more video from the pre-hearing conference soon.